I have had a week where I think I have worn a track along the floor in my kitchen. There was much mixing, dusting, measuring, chopping and grating. The smells reminded me of why I love Christmas, it isn't the presents it's the baking. This year I went on a frenzy. When I wasn't in the kitchen pulling out a tray of something, I was out re-stocking the dry goods. Because, you know, three kilos of muesli didn't quite seem enough.
Also baked was beautiful gingerbread, Cointreau truffles, florentines, and a chocolate and almond cake. With almond praline. Frenzy! The tiniest of my tiny helpers discovered the beaters and just how good they are, since this week also saw her begin to walk. And therefore pull up onto a stool to see what's cooking. This is all good, I am accustomed to many hands getting a go at stirring or cracking eggs.
The packaging up of all these baked goods was just as much fun as the baking. There was some welcome help from Bea who made the tags, she is the typewriter queen. Finally we made some linen bread bags with a drawstring for a couple of friends, I loved the look and feel of these bags, they were simple to make and made lovely personal gifts.
My baking done and my kitchen still needing a good scrub, I will be glad for the days ahead to catch up on some unfinished sewing. I have the children placing orders now: A bean bag, a back pack, an origami wallet, a letter satchel, and a pencil roll case. Frenzy!
Toasted cranberry and almond muesli
I love this eaten straight out of the jar without milk, sprinkle over yoghurt,Yum, and what a nice gift this makes at Christmas500g honey
100g light olive oil
1 cup of apple juice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 kg rolled oats
800g almonds* chopped or flaked
200g shaved or shredded coconut
125g sunflower seeds
200g sweetened cranberries
* you could use hazelnuts here instead, or a combination of the two.
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line trays with baking paper.
Warm honey, olive oil, apple juice and cinnamon in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring to combine.
Mix oats, almonds, seeds, cranberries and coconut in a large bowl.
Pour the warm honey mixture over the top. toss to combine.
Spread the mixture onto the baking trays. Toast for 15 min checking and stirring halfway.
You will need to divide this mix over 5 batches, to toast evenly and quickly.
Cool and pop in the next tray. All can be tossed into the large bowl to cool before packaging.
Makes about eight 500g bags.